Sunday, 2 August 2009

F&T 2.0

As you can see, I’ve given F&T a complete overhaul. It still needs a bit more work – so while I’m tinkering with it, please feel free to suggest any special features that you’d like to see, or any improvements in layout.

Some of the new features include a list of all categories in the sidebar; the ability to subscribe to all comments (via the menu bar at the top); a list of related posts after each post; as well as Google’s sweet tabbed search function. I also thought it would be useful to list the latest comments in the sidebar, since sometimes discussions are rekindled on older threads (for example, a couple of weeks ago we were discussing Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til on a very old thread).

I’d also be interested to know if there are any preferences for the format of the blogroll. At the moment, the list simply shows the blogs in order of the most recently updated. Should I still include a full alphabetical list as well?

28 Comments:

Ben Gray said...

Love the new look!

Evan said...

I like the blogroll based on most recent comments because it helps to distinguish which of your links are more active and less, but it might be nice to have the full list as well, if it doesn't make things too cluttered.

Ingo said...

Thats a great new layout, much clearer and better to read!

The blogroll in order of the most recently updating is a nice idea, but I would also appreciate a complete list, which displays the various relations and interests much better. To prevent overloading it could also be placed on a separate blog or link page?

ken oakes said...

how about changing the commenting format so that longer responses and even longer responses to responses are easier to read?

goannatree said...

Ben,

I really like the new format, though i loved your old header graphic!

I especially like the latest comments list I really think i should do something similar. It seems to do more for engendering real conversations on old topics.

I like the simple colour palette.

I am wonderinf if you ask about the format of the blogroll because it seems, in this format to be a little cumbersome. I like i liked your blogroll setup better in the old design but I am not sure how you would alter it here...

I am not sure i have been much help. Sorry 'bout that!

Brad said...

My personal preference was for the old blogroll. When I was new to the theo-blogging world about a year ago (both as reader and contributor!), F&T's was the primary blogroll that facilitated my introduction to so many incredible blogs out there. The new format is somewhat cumbersome, while the old laid each title out cleanly and orderly.

Overall, though, the new look is great. Bravo sir.

Bobby Grow said...

Ben,

I really like this new look, it looks nice and clean . . . very professional!

I like the "updating blogroll," but with some others here I also think having an alphabetical roll (static) would be helpful too (that way mine would be near the top: Bruised Reed ;-).

Robert Minto said...

I like the new look. I have to say your new header image is no where near as neat as your old one, though...

To weigh in on the blogroll issue---I like the idea of having the newest updates from active blogs displayed instead of the entire list in your sidebar. It would be nice, however, if you maintained the full list somewhere (maybe on its own page) on your blog. It's an incredibly useful reference for newcomers to the theoblogosphere.

nate kerr said...

Ben:

I too appreciate the "latest comments" feature, but wouldn't it be more helpful somehow indicate the thread to which the comment belongs, and perhaps also the commenter's identification, instead of simply the first few words of the comment itself?

Evan said...

+1 on Nate's comment- I just noticed that and came here to mention it.

Ben Myers said...

Ken: okay, I've gotten rid of the pop-up box for comments (why didn't I think of this sooner??). The comment box is now just embedded at the bottom of the page. I hope that's better!

And I'll try to incorporate some of these other suggestions soon...

Ben Myers said...

Okay, I've also added an alphabetical blogroll, and I've moved the other list (sorted by most recent updates) a bit further down the sidebar.

kim fabricius said...

Are you going to make the yellow guy reading the yellow magazine a regular feature? At first sight he looks like he's on the loo. Then you could add some bog roll to the blog roll. ;)

levellers said...

Nice new look. I'm not ready for this large a makeover of Levellers, but this is really useful, Ben.

ken oakes said...

ahh, that feels much better....

adrian said...

I miss the old header as well. The current one feels a little generic.

Samir said...

I'm a big fan of the constantly updating blogroll, but it'd be helpful for me to have it further up on the page, as it's more helpful to see when there's new content on the blogs you like. I'd say switch the "Posts I'm Reading" and the static blogroll (and Categories along with it, I suppose) in position. Love the new look.

Erin said...

I liked the "what I believe" link, along with the propositions and dogmatics outline links as I refer people to them frequently. Of course they needn't be up top, just somewhere easily found in the huge ever growing pulsating brain that rules from the centre of the ultraworld

Erin said...

I of course meant, "theology for beginners," especially.

Aaron Rathburn said...

Excellent redesign! Ironic timing, too, I just overhauled my own design last week for the first time ever (after blogging for like one and a half years now!).

Great design. I agree with a previous commenter that the graphic image header could use some spice though, like your previous one.

Fat said...

Great job Ben - I also like the no pop-up to read the comments.
Tis true that the header seems generic but it isn't jarringly terrible - perhaps we were spoiled.
The latest comments section is a good innovation too.

Ben Myers said...

"the header ... isn't jarringly terrible" -- okay, that settles it. If this is the best that can be said about the new header, I'm definitely switching back to the old one!

roger flyer said...

Well, the old header whispered:
"Academy."
This says:
(New caption here...)

Halden said...

Well, I really like the fact that your categories are now available in a list.

I need a real header myself, so don't worry too much.

Adam Kotsko said...

I agree with Kim -- the RSS guy looks like he's on the toilet. Of course, it might be this kind of thing that leads me to think that.

Ben Myers said...

Sorry I still haven't got the old header back. I'm working on it — just fiddling with its dimensions, etc, and trying to get it to fit with the new theme. I don't suppose there's any HTML expert out there who'd like to volunteer to help...?

J. R. Miller said...

nice job on the new site!

Anna M Blanch said...

So glad to hear you'd reconsidered on the header..I've been living in Texas too long, i should have just come out and said what i though! btw, i tagged you in a meme (hopefully an interesting one, should be up tomorrow morning.)

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